She sleeps all day and may be bored at night with no one to play with. One of the worst things you can do is jump up as soon as she meows or pounces on you and feed her. She will think that is the best way to get more food and will continue the behavior. Holding out for a long time before giving in is also a bad choice. This may even encourage her more than giving in right away.
She will think it is a game to see how long it will take you to finally wake up and give her food. The delayed gratification is more like a chase, which speaks to her instincts. It’s better not to give in at all. Cats like to jump from high places and pounce on things. When you are sleeping, you are the perfect target. Look around your room to see if there are common places that your cat pounces from. Look for high shelves, headboards, or dressers that she might climb on to get to you at night.
If possible, you can remove them from your room or re-position them so she can’t jump on you. If that isn’t possible, put slippery cloth on them or cover them with items that she can’t knock off. This will deter her from jumping up to those areas and pouncing on you. Minimize your cat’s access to vermin. If your cat wakes you up by bringing you vermin, you need to stop the behavior. This will remove her ability to bring you kills in the middle of the night. If your cat uses a cat flap to have outside access instead of a litter box, this may not be an option.
If this is the case, keep the cat in the room that has the cat flap. This will allow her to get out but keep her away from your bedroom so she can’t bring you mice in the middle of the night. Keep your cat out of your bedroom if possible. You can try to give her access to a secure room at night. Leave her in a nice, warm place with some food, water, and comfortable places to sleep. This will keep her out of your room at night and let you get a good night’s sleep.
If you want to reward your cat for good behavior, you can reach a compromise. Keep your cat out of your sleeping space on weeknights, but allow her in on weekends when you can at least sleep in if you are woken up during the night. When your cat first starts meowing at night, you want to make sure she is okay. If you decide that she is not sick and has enough water and food, she may just want your attention. If the behavior keeps up every night, you have to ignore her. This may be difficult at first, but it will pay off in the end. If you come to her every time she meows, you will be reinforcing the negative behavior.
Don’t punish her or give her any attention at all. She is looking for any acknowledgement from you, even it you are disciplining her. If she won’t stop, leave a toy hanging off a scratch post at the end of your bed for her to play with instead of bothering you. If your cat doesn’t stop, you can buy earplugs or headphones so you cannot hear her until she gets the hint. You can feed your cat right before bed if she wakes you up to get fed in the middle of the night. Don’t worry about giving her a full meal, but make it large enough that it feels like more than a treat. This mirrors a cat’s natural rhythm.
They hunt, eat, groom, and then sleep to get more energy for the next hunt. If you feed your cat before bed, she will be full and want to sleep to regain her energy for her next hunt. It will also train your cat to know that late evening food means bedtime. You can also buy a timed feeder that will release food for them in the middle of the night. Instead of waking you up, your cat will learn to go to her bowl on her own instead. One of the main reasons your cat may be awake at night is because she is bored. If your cat is alone all day, she will want to play and expend some energy when you are home. Try to make time to play with your cat every day. Drag a toy across the floor and let them chase it.